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The Case of Trayvon Martin and Stand-your-ground Law in The Us

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Table of contents

  1. Racial injustice African Americans face
  2. Trayvon Martin
    Stand your ground law
  3. Conclusion

In 2005, Florida’s stand-your-ground law passed. This law allows people to respond to threats or force without fear of criminal prosecution. In other words, if a person feels an imminent threat, they can use lethal force right away and shoot without going to jail. For decades African Americans have faced racial discrimination, prejudice, and racism. Blacks Americans face the most racial discrimination. Treyvon Martin was a 17-year-old African American teenager who was fatally shot by a neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman. This essay will analyze racial injustices African Americans face, and the death of Trayvon Martin. This essay will also examine the social policy stand your ground law.

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Racial injustice African Americans face

Racial injustice are common amongst African Americans. The most common is racial discrimination. In black communities, they face racial discrimination in a variety of different ways. The most common is racial discrimination and racial profiling. African Americans get racial profiled most times when they are in public. According to the ACLU (2020), “Racial profiling refers to the discriminatory practice by law enforcement officials of targeting individual’s race, ethnicity, religion or national origin”. This means that the use of race such as the color of one’s skin is used to determine who gets stopped. Racial profiling also happens when walking, driving, or shopping. African Americans are most targeted because of their race and skin color. In contrast, White Americans do not face the same discrimination. White Americans have advantages such as education, wealth, and jobs. As Stated by Cole (2019), white privilege refers to the collection of benefits that white people receive in a racially structed society in which they are at the top of the racial hierarchy. This means that white skin is seen as the superior race. White skin individuals do not face the same challenges as people of color. For example, a white male walking down the street with a black hoodie on has a less chance of being pulled over by law enforcement than a black male. Another example is driving, a black African American would more likely be pulled over than a white person. This demonstrates how race are affected due to their social status.

Trayvon Martin

According to Sentinel (2013) , On February 26,2012 a young African American teen named Trayvon Martin was walking home from a convenience store. He was wearing a black hooded sweatshirt, had a bag of skittles and bottle of juice. Trayvon fatally shot by George Zimmerman; a neighborhood watch volunteer who was patrolling the townhouse community in Sanford Florida. Zimmerman told the police that he had shot unarmed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin out of self-defense during a physical altercation that they had. Zimmerman called the non-emergency line to report Trayvon, stating that he looked suspicious. He was told not to follow Trayvon. When police arrived Trayvon Martin was dead , and George Zimmerman was questioned then released. This became a social problem because police choose not to arrest Zimmerman and people believed Zimmerman had racial profiled Trayvon. Because Trayvon Martin was black, People were outraged that a white male had shot and killed an innocent 17-year-old boy. It became a social problem because of Florida’s Stand your ground law.

Stand your ground law

Stand your ground law is a law which allows people to use lethal force if they fear for their safety and does not require them to retreat from a dangerous situation (Sentinel 2013). This means that any individual can use a firearm as self defense if they feel their safety is in danger. Stand your ground law also gives immunity to person who acted in self-defense. Hanna (2018) states that the law lets judges declare someone immune from prosecution if they find certain facts that are in favor of the killer in a pretrial hearing. While this law protects from immunity, it does not apply fairly to everyone. For example, if a person of color were to use lethal force to protect themselves because they feared their safety was in danger, they would not receive immunity. The stand your ground law is bias. If the victim was white, a suspect is twice as likely to be convicted. This law does not protect African Americans, because the law is racially biased. The people who benefit from this law are whites. For example, the Trayvon Martin case Zimmerman is a white Hispanic. If Zimmerman’s race were a black male, he would have been convicted of killing Trayvon Martin. Whites benefit from this law because they have access to immunity regardless if they use lethal force because of their race.

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African Americans are affected by their social status in many ways. African American’s get stereotyped, discriminated, and racial profiled all the time. In contrast to white Americans, blacks face injustices because of the color of their skin. When it comes to the law, blacks face harder sentences. George Zimmerman was found not guilty of killing Trayvon Martin because of the color of his skin. Further, laws are racially biased such as the stand your ground law. The color of the skin depicts how an individual’s social status is viewed.

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